Home Cookin’ From Your Neighbor’s Home

Meatloaf dinner

Meatloaf dinner with garlic bread, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, and collard greens.

Here’s a place I wanted to try because I saw it on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives” on the Food Network.  Amazingly, I had never heard of it before I saw that episode on TV.

So away I went in search of YJ’s Snackbar.  It was definitely in an area I could have easily missed and drove right past had I not been paying attention.  This is definitely a place you know the local neighbors go to eat when they don’t feel like cooking for themselves at home.

I had perused the menu ahead of time before I even went to this place—and thank goodness I did!  I noticed that you can’t really choose much from the menu because they only serve what they choose to serve that particular day of the week you happen to be there.  So I decided to choose the Soul Food Tuesday dinner for my outing.

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Loving Those Beignets


Traditional Beignets hand-rolled, flash fried, and dusted in powdered sugar.

I have to say, I’ve never even heard of a beignet before I came across this place and I certainly didn’t know how to pronounce it (ben-yay).  But once I met the beignet, I was pretty happy we got to know each other.

They’re kind of like donuts with powdered sugar.  But this place also has what they call ‘savory’ beignets, too, with several varieties of goodness on the inside of them depending on which kind you choose.  I just happened to try ‘The Bronx’ beignet and I thought it was pretty good for a savory surprise.

I have to say, I did fall in love with the 7-cheese macaroni.  How do you NOT love something that has 7 different cheeses inside of it?!  I immersed my entire face into it.  It was as if we became one.

But I wasn’t too fond of the bread pudding tho (probably because I’ve grown accustomed to the awesome bread pudding at my local diner).

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Casino Buffet Eating

Casino buffet plate

Fried chicken, cream corn, baked beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, and baked potato chips.

So here’s yet another buffet I love going to.  It’s at one of the riverboat casinos in my area.  All of the casinos have buffets and I’ve tried them all.  You know me!  But this one just happens to be my favorite—and it has a massive buffet, too!  There’s so much food you have to get one plate after another.

There are several food stations broken down into several different lovely areas:

  • Chinese food station
  • Barbecue food station
  • American food station
  • Italian food station
  • Salad, soup, & bread station
  • Dessert station

What’s a girl to do when confronted with all these options?  By jove, I’ll tell you!  Just get one of everything!  After all, that’s the fun of eating at buffets.

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A New Sports Bar In Town

Chicken Tenders & Macaroni & Cheese

Chicken Tenders with honey mustard & barbecue sauces and a side of Macaroni & Cheese.

I love meeting girlfriends out for lunch any chance I get.  You can always get in good food and good gossip all rolled into one.

We decided to try a newly opened sports bar in midtown—and, boy, was it loaded with some good food.  I really couldn’t make up my mind what to try on the menu. (Story of my life.)  But after hours of analyzing it, I ended up going for the basic chicken tenders and—OH—they were amazingly good and crunchy.

It doesn’t take much for me to fall in love with a food item.

I always seem to order macaroni & cheese everywhere I go, too.  I just like trying out different mac & cheeses because some definitely taste better than others—and, who are we kidding, it’s one of my favorite foods ever to eat in life.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, meet your friends out for lunch at a newly opened food spot.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Anytime macaroni and cheese is on the menu any place you go, definitely get a side order to go along with your meal.  You can’t go wrong.

Oh, That Sports Bar Food
Two Games In One
The World Cup Excitement!
A Word Cup Watch Party

The Leftovers Are Just As Amazing

Mac & Cheese Leftovers

This mac & cheese was SO good even several days later.  I decided this would be my lunch for work every day this week.  I just love when I can make a big dish of something and have it last all week.

Oh, I wish you could have just smelled the wonderful smells permeating from this bowl when I pulled it from the microwave, walked back to my desk, and slowly lifted that lid for all the steam to swoop out and travel around the office.  Who am I to deny my fellow co-workers the lovely smells of life?

Of course, all those around me were wondering where that glorious smell was coming from.  That smoked cheddar really does wonders in the smell and the taste department.  Someone even thought there was bacon in it even though there’s not.  No—it was probably the smoked cheddar they were smelling.  Just keep your distance from my desk and stay away from my food!

I oooo’ed and ahhhh’ed my way through lunch and couldn’t wait for a second helping at home for dinner.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, enjoy your leftovers at home, at work, or wherever.  Let others get a chance to whiff those glorious smells coming from your lovely leftovers.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Guard your food with your life as others are walking past trying to discover where those delicious food smells are coming from.  You never know when you’ll have to fight to the death.

I Can’t Get Enough Of Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese Pools

I Can't Get Enough Of Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese

Made with Cavatappi pasta, sharp cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, smoked white cheddar cheese, Gouda cheese, milk, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, Cheez-Its, and Parmesan cheese.

Well, Miss Nancy of “Feasting With Friends” had to go showing off macaroni and cheese in my face as if I haven’t had enough of it already.  And it looked marvelously good.  It’s all I could think about since she posted it to her blog.

So I had no other choice but to hop my way to the grocery store to get said ingredients.

Shredded cheeses

Because Nancy suggests NOT using pre-packaged cheeses, my right arm is now 10 times the size of my left arm with all the grating I had to do.  Yeah, there were lashings of cheeses all over the place once the shredding was done—but I’m not complaining.

Once all the cheeses melted into the milk, it was drenched all over the pasta.

Macaroni & Cheese

Now it’s ready for baking in the oven.  I didn’t make mines quite as soupy as Nancy did and I had much bigger hunks of Cheez-Its for the topping.  It turned out OH SO DELICIOUS!

Thank you, Miss Nancy for shoving mac & cheese in my face!  It made my day.

Recipe for—Nancy’s Macaroni & Cheese

So, if you have nothing else to do today, try either making or eating some homemade macaroni and cheese—or both.  If for no other reason than the love of cheese.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Apparently grating lots of cheese for a long period of time can give your one arm that Incredible Hulk look—which basically puts weights/dumbbells out of business.  Don’t forget to switch off arms lest you walk around with one skinny arm and one bulky arm.

Macaroni & Cheese Pools

Macaroni & Cheese Pools

Macaroni & Cheese

Made with wide egg noodles, butter, heavy cream, milk, flour, Fontina cheese, Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, diced cooked ham, fresh Italian parsley, and salt & pepper.

This is my favorite macaroni & cheese ever—or at least so far.  This is my go-to macaroni & cheese dish.  The cheeses are perfection together and my taste buds know nothing better.

Recipe for—Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese

Made with ziti pasta, milk, heavy cream, minced garlic cloves, Gruyère cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, butter, and salt & pepper.

Unfortunately, I could no longer find this recipe available on Colin Cowie’s website.

Made with cavatappi pasta, butter, flour, milk, dry mustard, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, crushed potato chips, crumbled cooked bacon, and salt & pepper (on the left).

Recipe for—Macaroni & Cheese

Made with whole wheat elbow macaroni, cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, sour cream, Dijon mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, and Parmesan cheese (on the right).

Recipe for—Macaroni & Cheese

Made with Velveeta macaroni & cheese dinner, cheddar cheese, sour cream, red pepper, Ritz crackers, and melted butter (on the left).

Recipe for—Macaroni & Cheese

Made with penne pasta, butter, flour, milk, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, hot sauce, Parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper (on the right).

Recipe for—Macaroni & Cheese

So, if you have nothing else to do today, make loads of different kinds of mac & cheeses until you find your favorites.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Make sure you have plenty of fiber close by to offset all the cheese you’ll be eating.

I Can’t Get Enough Of Macaroni & Cheese